Aside from the sleeves we saw today on Christmas, the other buzz people are talking about are the Warriors and Clippers’s new rivalry. They both had a scuffle in their last meeting and a few broke out during their Christmas game.
I initially thought this rivalry between the two was not necessary. It seemed to me that a great rivalry would be against the foes that had been atop the West for a while: the Lakers, Spurs and Thunder.
But now thinking about it, those teams aren’t the top teams anymore. They’re good, but the tide has turned in the West. The Clippers and Warriors are now rising up.
The reason why now I think this rivalry is good is not because that the top teams are in a sense on the way down, but it’s more of the fact that the Warriors and Clippers are on their way up.
For so long, both these California teams had been irrelevant. Aside from the geographical locations, they essentially are both the same team. Seasons upon seasons of bad basketball, always being looked down and years of just frustration. Now both are considered one of the top teams in the league. And now their rise to the top mirror each other. Who is the better team now? They aren’t worrying about the other teams anymore. They know they are better.
Former players as head coach. Top tier point guards, great bench shooters, All-Star big men. They’re built to match up against each other.
What better than the two unpopular kids finally getting some respect? And instead of trying to get back at the big kids that gave them a hard time, they’re going at each other. They understand each other’s struggle and fight. They know how it feels. And they still want to come out better than their brethren.
So is this a rivalry? Yes it is. But for what reasons? Not just because they are two good teams. They’re two teams that came from the same dumps, now on their way to the penthouse, and want to show that they came out better. And in the process, it shows us the changing of the guard of who are the rising top kings of the West.
I hope these two meet in the playoffs. It will be good for basketball. But in the mean time, we’ll wait until their next meeting on January 30.